Sunday, October 19, 2014

AAPEX Favorites Petronia Paley and Nathan James nominated for 2014 AUDELCO Awards

Petronia Paley
Nathan James
AAPEX favorite proactive multihypenates Petronia Paley and Nathan James have been honored for their work on stage for the 2013-2014 theatre season with AUDELCO Awards. The 42nd annual event nominated Petronia Paley in the Lead Actress category for her role in William Shakespeare's Coriolanus: The African Warrior. Nathan James is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Cheryl L Davis' Maid's Door. Ms. Davis is also nominated for Playwright. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Call for Screenwriter to Adapt African American Story

We are looking for completed feature-length scripts that were adapted from novels to evaluate as writing samples in a potential writer-for-hire opportunity. This will be for a period (1940s) African American story; therefore, we need a writer who is good at researching so the dialogue and other period elements will be accurate. When pitching, please mention whether you're a produced or optioned writer in the personal message space. Budget has yet to be determined. WGA and Non-WGA writers may submit. Our credits include "A Talent for Trouble."

1. Please go to
2. Enter your email address (you will be signing up for InkTip's newsletter - FREE!)
3. Copy/Paste this code: n7xjyh1my8
4. You will be submitting a logline and synopsis only.
 IMPORTANT: Please ONLY submit your work if it fits what the lead is looking for EXACTLY.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Call for Co-Writer for African American Football Screenplay

Seeking a co-writer to help work on voice and motivations of African-American characters and family in rural south. Writer should be familiar with the world of athletics - particularly football. I've completed a few drafts of the screenplay and at the suggestion of several close, established producers and directors (and my manager), it was suggested that taking on a co-writer would take this project up a notch to where it needs to be. Project will be pitched upon completion of notes and subsequent drafts. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing some of your work and personal history. Please submit a resume and writing samples. No full scripts.

Please note, if you wait five days, you can get submission info for free. Can't wait? Then you will have to sign up for a fee here a the International Screenwriters Association.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Richard E Waits MAMA ROSE at Dixon Place October 24th (NYC)

Richard E Waits photo by Russ Weatherford

Ellie Covan, Founder/Artistic Director 
Katy Einerson, Director of Programming 
Presents The World-Premiere Presentation 
Special Equity Showcase Production of
(we are a product of our people) 

A Solo Performance Art/Experimental Play
With Music about ROSE WAITS
A Woman From Buffalo Who Could Have Ruled The World
If They Had Let Her

 Book, Music and Lyrics by Richard E. Waits
 Directed by Paul Stancato
 Designed by Clint Ramos
 Creative Consultation by Sheryl Lee Ralph
Penny Arcade

 World Premiere of
(we are a product of our people)

October 24 @ Dixon Place NYC

Please note that the Dixon Place Lounge is open before and after the show and drinks may be brought into the theater. Proceeds directly support Dixon Place artists and mission.

You can help raise funds for this project and learn more by
clicking here.

$12.00 Advanced Tickets can be purchased here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Owa is gone...

Owa Jackson

A force to be reckoned with has left the theatre. Absurdist* playwright and critic Owa Jackson passed on without fanfare or a standing-O without our knowledge. He deserved better. And he's going to get it on Saturday, October 18th as we celebrate Owa's life starting at 2pm at La MaMa, 74A East 4th Street. 

I met Owa, winner of the 2011 NAACP Theatrical Playwrights Award, at the 2nd reading of my dancical Jitterbug! at the Tada! Theater in Manhattan. He was sitting behind me and laughing out loud in all the right spots which I took as a good sign. But I didn't discover it was him until after the reading when he introduced himself to me. But I knew of him through his avant garde playwriting and criticism we were happy to publish on this website. He was very supportive of my writing and I will never forget his effort to show up that cold, cold night for my play. I stayed in touch since then on a more personal basis. Following his last procedure in order to win his fight against cancer, I emailed to see how he was doing and he said he was getting better. Follow up emails were not answered and I and Jaz Dorsey, his friend and founder of AAPEX, began to worry. Jaz made inquiries and that's how we discovered the bad news. 

I will miss him but I will never forget him because he's one of those kinda guys who leave a lasting, smile inducing impression. If any reader of this blog feels the same way and would like to post something about Owa on our comments section, please do. 

For those who would like to "read Owa," please click his name in the "Labels" section below. It will bring up years of his persona, his mind, and his writing on AAPEX. 

DC Copeland

*Owa's choice of words instead of African American which he felt were interchangeable... given the circumstances of living in a white world. Be sure to click "Owafest" in the Labels section to read his thoughts on the subject.


Owa was one of the first writers to join The African American Playwrights Exchange in 2007 and one of the first playwrights in the mix to offer up one of his plays, FUNNYLINGUS, for a reading (at the LGBT Center in NYC) The play was a startling look at the conflict between the theatre and the church. It's a play that I love dearly.

Another of Owa's plays, the title of which I forget, was running at one point when I was in NYC. It was about the Holy family - God, Mary, Joseph and Jesus - and again was highly irreverent. 

I read a few more of his wonderfully absurdist plays over the past seven years and talked with him endlessly about the strange world of the American theatre as it was viewed through his perspective and counted him one of my great friends.

Owa made a tremendous contribution to the American dramaturgy - the question is, what happens with his plays and other writings now?

Jaz Dorsey


So sorry to learn of Owa's passing; he was one of the several playwrights who collaborated with students in a popular course I developed at Ohio State's Lawrence and Lee Institute many years ago, and I always enjoyed our conversations. 

Alan Woods

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts Are Not Enough

Shawn C. Harris

Posted Sep 3 2014 by Shawn C. Harris in Crossroads and Intersections, The Marbury Project 

If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume three things about you. 

 *You care about women and people of color being involved in theatre. It bothers you when a show, season or organization is too male and too white. It doesn’t reflect the world you live in. It doesn’t reflect a world you want to live in. 

 *You need to hear from the people most impacted by how race and gender work in theatre. 

 *You want the truth, not what they think you want to hear because they don’t want to piss you off and lose an opportunity, a working relationship, or a friend or loved one. You are motivated to do something with the insight you gain. When we talk about race and gender in theatre, the words “diversity” and “inclusion” are not far from people’s lips and keyboards. In other words, the not-really-hidden question of where all the women and people of color are and how to bring more into the fold.

I know people are sincere and mean well, but there’s one big problem with “diversity” and “inclusion.” 

Put simply: it’s not enough.

To read more, please click here.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Benja Kay Thomas stars in BOOTYCANDY at Playwrights Horizons (NYC)

Phillip James Brannon, Jessica Francis Dukes, Benja Kay Thomas, and Lance Coadie Williams

BOOTYCANDY, a new play written and directed by Robert O'Hara, is being presented in its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street) as the opening production of the company's 2014/2015 Season. Opening Night is Wednesday, September 10, 2014. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below! The cast features Phillip James Brannon, three-time Helen Hayes Award nominee Jessica Frances Dukes, Jesse Pennington, Audelco Award winner Benja Kay Thomas and Lance Coadie Williams. Sutter (Mr. Brannon) is on an outrageous odyssey through his childhood home, his church, dive bars, motel rooms and even nursing homes. A kaleidoscope of sketches that interconnect to portray growing up gay and black, Robert O'Hara's subversive, uproarious satire crashes headlong into the murky terrain of pain and pleasure and... Bootycandy. The production features scenic and costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by two-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman, sound design by Lindsay Jones, projection design by Aaron Rhyne and hair and make-up design by Dave Bova. Production Stage Manager is Marisa Levy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DANCING AT DUNBAR September 6th (LA)

The Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre will perform a site specific dance celebrating Los Angeles' legendary Dunbar Hotel at the hotel. Based on "Life's Tragedy and Sympathy," two poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar. During the segregated era when African-Americans were not allowed to stay at major hotels, it became the hangout for such legends as Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Lena Horne. It hosted the first NAACP national convention in the western US. 

Tickets can be bought here.

A "Tip of the Backward-wearing Kangol" to David Mack for bringing this to our attention.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jackie Wilson returns to DC

Please click image to enlarge.
The Eve of Jackie returns to Washington, DC for two performances at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, September 20 & 21, 2014. Starring the award winning, Broadway performer - Chester Gregory asJackie Wilson.

The Eve of Jackie, a raw and jaw-dropping tour de force musical tribute to Jackie Wilson.  Set in September 1975 the show is an incredible look at Jackie Wilson and his last complete performance, the night before he collapses on stage. Draped with this show is a flashback to that concert in which the great artist felt compelled to share details of his troubled life.  Chester Gregory masterfully performs many of the singer’s signature hits and expertly executes his awe-inspiring trademark moves. 

After stepping foot on the music scene in the late 1950s as a solo artist, Jackie Wilson forever changed the face of Pop Culture.  Known for his dynamic stage presence and cross-over hits like “Higher and Higher,” “Lonely Teardrops,” “My Empty Arms,” “Alone at Last” and “Baby Workout,” Jackie Wilson has inspired legions of entertainers from Elvis Presley to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, Wilson had more than 20 Top-40 pop-chart hits. No wonder they called him “Mr. Excitement,” a charismatic showman who commanded a stage like few before or since, and Chester captures every nuance, from Jackie’s natural tenor to his signature moves.

About Chester Gregory;
Chester Gregory is a Gary native and Broadway veteran best known from his roles in Sister ActDreamgirls, Hairspray, Tarzan, Cry Baby, and Shrek the Musical. Chester studied at Emerson Visual and Performing Arts School, and Columbia College, graduating with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Through dedication and hard work he built his passion for the arts into a career, making a name for himself when he burst onto the theater scene as Jackie Wilson in original production of "The Jackie Wilson Story" for which he received major acclaim such as, The Jeff, AUDELCO, BTAA and Black Excellence Awards.

Directed by Da’Vine Joy Randolph, with Musical Direction by Rob Lewis. The show is co-written by Crystal Lucas and Chester himself.

Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club
The Bethesda Theater, built in 1938 and opened as one of the era's Art Deco cinema palaces, has come back to life! With an $8 million renovation, this National Historic Register Property is the region's #1 Live Music Supper Club! Located 1 1/2 blocks from the Bethesda Metro station. The Cheltenham Parking Garage is located behind the Club.

Tickets are $17.50-$37.50 and are available at The Bethesda Blues and Jazz supper Club’s box office or by visiting Home

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Acting and Playwriting Workshop (NYC)

Please click image to enlarge.